HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
What's your latest food quest? Tell us about it
TELL US

1st time in boston...whats not to be missed?

a
Allencvc Nov 4, 2010 10:05 AM

2 night stay Nov 23-25, booked hotel in back bay area. heard Copley Sq and Back Bay is a cool part of the city.

we own a fine dining restaurant (tamaripgh.com) and in our early 30's, so some serious dining and partying is a must.

looking for the best dining Boston has to offer, prob 3 lunches and 2 dinners. Don't mind spending $ if it means a good time but also local institutions that shouldn't be missed

any suggestions?

  1. c
    cambridgedoctpr Nov 4, 2010 10:28 AM

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7435...

    this contains interesting threads including what people consider the best restaurants in boston.

    O Ya, Craigie on Main, Clio, Neptune etc. Once you read through these, you might wish to ask questions.

    -----
    O Ya
    9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

    Craigie on Main
    853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

    8 Replies
    1. re: cambridgedoctpr
      a
      Allencvc Nov 4, 2010 11:56 AM

      thanks, alot of nice looking menus. Craigie, No 9 Park and Clio stood out.

      something more specific now...

      good place for dumplings/dim sum? Dumpling Cafe?

      also authentic mexican tacos and raw bars?

      1. re: Allencvc
        Karl S Nov 4, 2010 12:05 PM

        Please do not come to Boston expecting great Mexican food. We have some OK Mexican food hear and there, but we're not in an area with lots of Mexican immigrants. I am always mystified why people expect City X to have great examples of a cuisine from Nation Y. Anyway, you'd do better searching for recommendations for Portuguese cuisine; southeastern New England has centuries-old ties (first through fishing, then whaling, then emigration) to the Lusophone world, and as a result it's one of the stronger suites in our palate of "ethnic" dining. And we tend to have more folks from places other than Mexico in our palate of Latin American places.

        Neptune Oyster is the considered go-to place for seafood in Boston Proper (the oldest parts of Boston) on these boards, I would venture.

        Understand that Back Bay is filled with hotels that can be filled with conventioneers, and it also has lots of office towers in the middle; it's also frightfully expensive in terms of overhead, so the restaurant choices tend to skew to the conventional and reliable rather than the interesting and daring (and, unlike midtown and downtown Manhattan or San Francisco, the relatively intimate scale of Boston means we simply don't get the volume of customer-traffic that floats many boats in those similarly expensive climes). There are exceptions, but the still-frightful cost of commercial real estate here dominate a lot of why there are so many variations on similar themes in places like the Back Bay.

        1. re: Allencvc
          a
          Allencvc Nov 4, 2010 12:09 PM

          oh ya, almost forgot....is blue ginger worth it?

          1. re: Allencvc
            c
            cambridgedoctpr Nov 4, 2010 12:32 PM

            yes, forget mexican.

            Besides Neptune, raw bar: you can consider O Ya - very expensive - or Clio/Uni - just expensive or Oishii - one step cheaper.

            Dumplings: I like Golden Garden, Mulan, and Wang's for dumplings though they are all off the beaten path. Golden Garden is Northern Chinese, Mulan is Taiwanese - and has the best eel in Boston to my taste - and Wang's is a dump with good food and dumplings.

            i ate at Blue Ginger once years ago and was not thrilled, but there are others with more experience.

            -----
            O Ya
            9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

            Blue Ginger
            583 Washington St., Wellesley, MA 02482

            Golden Garden
            63 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478

            1. re: Allencvc
              Karl S Nov 4, 2010 12:46 PM

              I would generally avoid celebrity chef places. Not because they are bad, but because they just don't mesh with real Boston. Real Boston (to the extent it still exists as a Platonic Idea) is about as allergic to celebrity and glamour as is possible among American megalopolises (celebrities supposedlly like to come here because they will tend to be more ignored than in some other places).

              1. re: Allencvc
                barleywino Nov 8, 2010 12:59 PM

                looking at your Tamari restaurant menu, if you only have 2 dinners and looking for something in that creative Asian-influenced style, would do O Ya and Blue Ginger (runners up Clio, Craigie). dimsum at Winsor, soup dumplings ("mini steamed/juicy buns") and scallion pancake wrapped beef shin at Jo Jo taipei or Dumpling Cafe.

              2. re: Allencvc
                PinchOfSalt Nov 4, 2010 08:32 PM

                Some places in Boston do dumplings (as part of a larger menu) but not dim sum per se. Were you looking for the full dim sum experience (carts, or exclusively dim sum menu) or for a restaurant that has great dumplings (and perhaps bao) as part of a larger, regular menu?

                1. re: Allencvc
                  b
                  Bivalve Nov 8, 2010 03:47 PM

                  Angela's Cafe in East Boston (East Boston is the airport side of the harbor) has authentic Mexican. Angela and her family are from Puebla. It is a small place with a limited menu of authentic Mexican. I like Winsor for Dim Sum. If you have a car and want a New England experience head up Route 1 to Ipswich to the Clam Box for fried clams.

                  -----
                  Clam Box
                  789 Quincy Shore Dr, Quincy, MA 02170

              3. C. Hamster Nov 4, 2010 01:08 PM

                Ive eaten at Blue Ginger several times and it was fabulous. And Ming was there cooking.

                That said, it's pretty out of the way and there are better/just as good options in town.

                -----
                Blue Ginger
                583 Washington St., Wellesley, MA 02482

                1 Reply
                1. re: C. Hamster
                  Dave MP Nov 4, 2010 07:31 PM

                  I think given that you own Tamari, a visit to Blue Ginger might be interesting if you've never been, because there is definitely an overlap in dishes/styles. But like C. Hamster says, it's a bit out of the way, so I guess it depends on your priorities. I also don't feel like Blue Ginger is really the type of restaurant "partiers" go to.

                  Will you have a car or will you be using public transit? For dumplings, I'd recommend Wang's or Qingdao (which I read is opening up again this week?), and possibly also Dumpling Cafe in Chinatown and/or Shanghai Gate in Allston.

                  -----
                  Shanghai Gate
                  204 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                  Blue Ginger
                  583 Washington St., Wellesley, MA 02482

                2. r
                  redelephant Nov 4, 2010 02:35 PM

                  I think Tacos Lupita is Boston's best authentic Mexican tacos (and it's El Salvadorian), and a great place to grab lunch, while Tu y Yo and Angela's are more upscale Mexican and much better than most Mexican one can get in the Northeast (and much better than Mad Mex in Pittsburgh), but all of their locations suck for a visitor, so I would forget Mexican as others suggested and focus on fundamentals, like raw bars (i.e. Neptune), Craigie, Clio, o ya, etc. I'll also have to give your restaurant a try the next time in Pittsburgh--it looks great. Primanti Bros be damned!!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: redelephant
                    b
                    bugsmum Nov 4, 2010 04:31 PM

                    We've had several great meals at Blue Ginger. No. 9 Park is outstanding. And Hamersley's Bistro is terrific.

                    -----
                    Hamersley's Bistro
                    553 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

                    Blue Ginger
                    583 Washington St., Wellesley, MA 02482

                  2. d
                    donnahobrien Nov 8, 2010 12:34 PM

                    Number Nine Park, tops. For the atmosphere: Durgin Park is fun and uncomplicated food!

                    -----
                    Durgin Park
                    1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109

                    1. l
                      Ladycale Nov 8, 2010 02:40 PM

                      I haven't been, but based on input from this board Omakase at O Ya is not to be missed (though it can be pricey)

                      I will echo general sentiment that I have been to Blue Ginger and had good food there. Ming wasn't there at the time. My mother-in-law went once and met Ming and said he was very nice. He isn't in Boston proper though so would require driving to.

                      -----
                      O Ya
                      9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

                      Blue Ginger
                      583 Washington St., Wellesley, MA 02482

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Ladycale
                        r
                        redelephant Nov 8, 2010 05:55 PM

                        Blue Ginger is right next to the commuter rail stop in Wellesley Square, so with the proper schedule/timing//desire/luck, one can do a pretty easy trip from Back Bay Station [close to where you are staying] to Blue Ginger and back, although the train schedule might dictate your dining time somewhat and you might have to hang out in Wellesley a bit more than desired [the commuter rail runs infrequently, especially on the weekends; schedules are available on the mbta website]. You could train over at a set time and then taxi back, which could save a bit of money and then there would be no rushing through dinner to catch the last train.

                        -----
                        Blue Ginger
                        583 Washington St., Wellesley, MA 02482

                      Show Hidden Posts